Monday, November 19   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?




Talking about suicide

800,000 people a year commit suicide. It is the second leading cause of death among people 15-29 years of age. Students in Brazil received training on how to respond from a Biblical perspective.

SOURCES IFES AUTHOR Penny Vinden SAO PAULO 20 JULY 2016 09:50 h GMT+1
Photo: Steve Alama (Unsplash, CC)

800,000 people a year commit suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people 15-29 years of age. And yet this is a subject that is often taboo in Christian circles.

Not so in Brazil! The country as a whole was so concerned that it designated a month to host special events to highlight suicide prevention.

ABU Brazil in Teresina was also concerned. Wanting to build bridges of dialogue with society, they organised a lecture in May to discuss suicide openly. They invited a local graduate, Hosanira Costa, who is an expert on the topic.

“We wanted to promote intervention in suicidal behaviour through this debate. It is a matter of caring for our neighbour”, explained management student Thales Gonçalves, one of the coordinators of the event.

Lydia Carvalho, a student in mechanical engineering, agreed that this discussion was vitally important: “As the saying goes: ‘Loneliness is being alone even in the midst of many people.’ Suicide is just the end of a silent and painful process. Teresina needs to be aware of the suicide cases devastating our capital…. Let us ask God for discernment for as the psalmist says, the Lord is my present help. May this help be the answer to a request for help from someone.”

Hosanira challenged the students to think carefully about how they are living, explaining that suicide is a complex phenomenon. “Improve your quality of life and protect yourself, look for activities that give you pleasure. It is also important that family and friends provide emotional support and listen with compassion. Support centres are important when it comes to prevention”, she said.

Several saw the need for public health officials to take suicide more seriously so that those who suffer from “this silent disease” can be helped. Ariane Tsuzuki, a student in architecture, writes: “Any of us, or our loved ones or even close friends may be vulnerable to suffer from this existential pain. People generally do not know how to help, so it is great that ABU held these talks, because information can save lives.”

ABU Brazil is not the only IFES movement to take suicide seriously. Guyana has the highest suicide rate in the world, and IS/IVCF Guyana developed a program called HOPE to help deal with this problem.

On a related issue, Christian medical students within SMD Germany have published a position statement on assisted suicide. They want to promote the protection of life while still alleviating suffering. This paper is available in English and German.

This blog is based on a blog originally published by ABUB Brazil.

Learn more about IFES World.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - Talking about suicide
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.